Infants and parents
Infants show their distress through excessive crying, poor feeding, sleep disturbances, lack of enjoyment from play, gaze avoidance or clingy behavior. The birth of a child is usually a joyfully anticipated event but the experience of caring for a helpless and easily frightened little person can be very daunting. Becoming a parent brings changes in roles that require a great deal of adjustment. Mothers often feel exploited as they find themselves falling into traditional roles and fathers may feel sidelined as they watch their partner fall in love with somebody else. This is a challenge for many relationships. Meanwhile members of the community become very free with advice and criticism adding to a parents difficulties.
In her infant-parent work Kerry provides a space for parents to think about what is happening for each member of the family. She and the parents learn to read their baby more accurately and they think together about what solutions might work for them. Extensive research has taught us that creating a secure bond between infants and parents is fundamental to emotional wellbeing. These bonds are prototypes for all future relationships.
Many mothers struggle with postnatal depression. This condition intrudes on the experience of motherhood, making the task more difficult than it needs to be. Parental depression is unsettling for the infant and adds stress in the couple’s relationship. Psychotherapy is usually very effective in alleviating this condition.